With a growing number of Airbus and Boeing executive jetliners needing heavy maintenance checks and cabin refurbishment, Comlux America, the U.S.-based maintenance and completions center of Comlux the Aviation Group, has changed its business strategy to take in more work.
By upgrading the capabilities of its sister Comlux Aviation Services (CAS), the Indianapolis center can now take in two ACJ or BBJ aircraft at a time for maintenance and refurbishment, in addition to the four completion slots in the brand-new, custom-built Comlux America completion center that opened last year.
The expansion paid off this week with the announcement of CAS’s first such project, an Airbus ACJ319, for Jet Premier One, which operates the aircraft for the government of Malaysia. Work on the six-year-old aircraft involves mandatory C4 and 6 year checks and repainting, and refurbishment and revarnishing of the cabin. The aircraft will arrive at CAS in mid-June and be returned to service in late September. To fill that gap, Comlux will lease an ACJ320 to Jet Premier One.
“It’s tough to get a customer away from someone else,” says David Edinger, who heads both CAS and Comlux America completions. Comlux won the business by proposing the best cost-effective solution to a unique cabin requirement, notes Captain Norudin Abd. Majid, CEO of Jet Premier One. He told ShowNews that although this is the first C check for Comlux on an Airbus, he was impressed by the company’s in-house capabilities in engineering, certification and maintenance.
The Malaysian ACJ was completed by Jet Aviation and is in a long-term maintenance contract with Lufthansa Technik, “but Comlux had the right solution for us.”
That is partly due to Edinger’s own experience – he started his lifelong career in completions as an installer and cabinet maker at Dee Howard, and eventually worked for Airbus, where he oversaw its approved completion centers. During that tenure he got to know Captain Norudin, forming a relationship that paid off with the Comlux win. In the small world of completions, such personal contacts can make all the difference, Norudin says.
Comlux America was selected last year to conduct 12-year checks on two BBJs operated by Boeing’s Executive Flight Operation, and to upgrade and refit their cabins. Comlux also was selected by Hyundai Motor Co. to complete the company’s second BBJ during 2013. The center has one slot left for this year and is bidding on work for 2014, says Edinger. It is also completing the world’s first ACJ321.